At some point during our first six months in Munich, the Snook casually mentioned that we should go ride on Falkor. I was like, “Wait, what?!” He’d somehow learned about the existence of Bavaria Filmstadt, the local movie studio facility, and that it had a tour where you could literally sit on Falkor the luckdragon from The Neverending Story. I was all in on that idea.

Bavaria Filmstadt has been around under various names for over 100 years. Alfred Hitchcock made his first film there, and the many notable productions filmed in part there include The Great EscapeThe Sound of MusicCabaretDownfall, and Das Boot. And of course, relevant to my own personal interests – a little 1971 movie called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Bavaria Filmstadt

The film studios are south of the Munich city center along the Isar, and not that far from where we live. We picked a nice autumn day and had a nice slow 45min pootle along the river on our bicycles.

Filmstadt Bavaria entry

Here’s the entrance to the studios. We had pre-booked tickets for the 90min tour. The website mentioned English tours once a day, but we discovered when we got there that they weren’t happening anymore because demand had dropped during Covid. Thankfully they had an app that provided some English commentary so we wouldn’t be completely lost.


The entranceway has some fun exhibits set up, like this scale model of the U-96 from Das Boot. There were also a couple food trucks, so we grabbed a quick lunch before the tour kicked off. Then we were ushered onto a little train which drove us around past some of the studios and offices. Our first stop was a “4D Motion Ride” called Mogli’s Dschungel Abenteur. It’s one of those things where you’re watching a very disorienting 3D movie while the seating moves up and down and water occasionally sprays in your face. It was… not my favourite part of the day.

Die Zauberflöte

Then the actual studio tour began. Our group weaved our way through different film sets and props from the movies over the years. I got the impression that the layout depends greatly on what’s been filming there recently. This was part of the backdrop for the upcoming filmed version of The Magic Flute that had filmed six months earlier.

The White House

From there we shuffled straight into the White House! This hallway had apparently featured in the upcoming Kung Fury 2 featuring none other than…

President Schwarzenegger

President Schwarzenegger himself. 😂

Emma the Locomotive

They had a large exhibit of set pieces from the Jim Button German films, including Emma the Locomotive. I haven’t read these books but they’re by Michael Ende, author of The Neverending Story. 

Nepomuk the Dragon

I believe this was Nepomuk the Dragon.

The Southern Oracle

We were were shuffling between rooms when I glanced upwards and stopped dead in my tracks. The Southern Oracle!

The Auryn

At one point we shuffled down a hallway with lots of photos from past productions. At the end of it was a small exhibit of items from The Neverending Story, including a mural of the Auryn.


Morla, the Ancient One! Just looking at that face, I could hear that wheezing voice in my mind.


The Rockbiter! I like that they included a joyous representation of him, rather than the sad “They look like big, strong hands, don’t they?” version that makes me want to cry.

Willy Wonka

I didn’t spot any props from Willy Wonka but I did see it represented in a photo on the wall.

Das Boot turret

They had a major exhibit from Das Boot, including this scale (I think?) model of the turret from the submarine.

Scale model

Another scale model of the sub. They had exhibits outside showing how the crew filmed shots from the movie as well as the 2018 TV series. We then joined the queue shuffling into the long building behind…

Inside the sub

…which turned out to be the actual set of the submarine!


It was a pretty tight fit!

Handsome Snookums

Would it surprise you to learn that he was actually quoting lines from The Hunt for Red October the whole time? “One ping only, please,” I heard him growl. ❤️

Tight fit

Note: the sub is pretty small, and there are places where you have to climb through low bulkhead doors like behind the Snook here!


Another studio had sets from the recent sci-fi film Stowaway.

Gaulish village

The Snook was very excited by this exhibit of sets from Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar. We walked through the mock Gaulish village…


…and found Obelix’s quarry where he works on the menhirs (standing stones)!

Caesar’s dungeon

They also had the set used for Caesar’s dungeon…

Crocodile pool

…including a pool filled with (thankfully fake) crocodiles!

Viking boat

Another outdoor set was a Viking village from the Vicky the Viking film.

The tour also had a couple interactive areas where I didn’t take photos. One was the classroom set from the German film trilogy Fack ju Göhe (which translate to, I kid you not, “F**k you Goethe” in English!). There a couple volunteers sat at desks and recited lines which were then edited into a scene from the movie. Another was about special effects and had a few of us (including me and the Snook) in a mock train carriage while a guy scrolled scenery out the window. (Apparently you could download these clips when you left, but we didn’t bother.)

Gift shop

The gift shop also had some fun Neverending Story merch, including a box full of Auryns and some very cute little Falkors!


Our final stop was to visit the luckdragon himself. They had him set up in a small building near the entrance to the studios, and to my shock not many of the tourists there that day seemed very excited to visit him.

Riding Falkor

A couple stuck their heads in as we were geeking out and taking photos of each other riding Falkor. The guy nicely offered to take one of the two of us, then grudgingly admitted he’d never seen the movie! 😱

Falkor’s face

Look at that face! Can’t you just hear his voice? I felt like a kid again.

Happy Halloween!

I forgot to mention – we were there a couple days before Halloween and they were prepping for a special event. The whole tour was being made over with a haunted house theme for a “Spookytour,” and we saw lots of creepy props and zombie cast members getting ready. The Snook didn’t want to particularly do that, but I couldn’t resist saying “Spookytour” over and over. And wow, special Halloween Dunkin’ Donuts!

Biking home

And then we headed home, enjoying a very autumnal ride through the Bavarian forest.

Rail bridge

We crossed a high rail bridge and you can see that the trees were really changing colour.

The Isar

And a final view of the Isar before we got home…